February 14, 2: Is this a cause for concern? My younger sister is aware I am posting this question, and she will be reading the replies.
According to her, everything is brilliant and wonderful and he is a prince who treats her with respect, love, and affection.
I am posting to query how problematic this age difference is considered by mefites, whom I consider a good barometer on this sort of thing. Details about the relationship that may or may not be relevant: She and I were both raised by strict religious mormon parents. We both independently left this religion years ago for saner pastures.
We were taught some good and many deeply twisted, woman hating, and patriarchal things about love, sex, and relationships. She still lives at home with our parents.
She would not be homeless, because she could come live with me, but given that I live in another state she is not super fond of, I am sure she wouldn't prefer that. Because of the very high cost of rent where she lives with my parents and the fact that she is in college, she cannot get a place of her own until she finishes school so suggestions to move out are not very helpful. She works with him, and they are keeping their relationship private for now because of that. This was a mutual decision, although they are both anxious to be public.
He treats her very well and with a lot of respect and kindness. She says he has been wonderful, caring, and gentlemanly to her. THe relationship has moved somewhat fast, and she says this is the first time she has felt such mutual love and commitment.
She is mature as any 20 year old I know. However, I know at 20 years old I still had a lot of growing up to do. She is more mature than me than I was at that age though.
So basically, this is a relationship where other than the age difference, there aren't really any huge red flags. The problem is, I don't know how much of a red flag the age difference is. I'm in my late late 20's and I simply cannot imagine dating a 20 year old under ANY circumstances. She is taking a balanced perspective on this, and she realizes that even though this guy seems perfect now, things could go very wrong and is she is open to more information and perspectives.
So, hive mind- please tell us, how worrisome or problematic is this age difference? You are only going to alienate your sister by telling her who she should and shouldn't date and isn't that exactly the problem with your parents, that they are trying to control her choices? I suspect this guy might be a lot less attractive if your parents weren't so strict.
As long as your sister is using birth control and otherwise taking care of herself, then I wouldn't worry. It's not THAT big of a deal. A lot of young women date older men and get over it when they grow up a little more themselves. There's a reason everyone always says to stay out of office place romances.
In fact, given everything else you say, this sounds like a great relationship. I hope that the workplace stuff doesn't mess it up. Don't worry about the age difference. It's not hard to be in your 30s but at a "place in life" that's more associated with early 20s; if she's relatively mature at 20, that can match up pretty well.
So, yeah, I don't blame you for being a little uneasy over this. I think this is so situation specific as to defy a generalization. It sounds like your sister is handling it well and aware of the risks. If it were me and I were you, I would give my sister support and not comment beyond what you have already.
I would be more worried about what would happen if when? It's far more likely that she would move in with him than with you, given that she's in school and has a job in her state. That seems like bad news waiting to happen. The best thing would be for her to really clarify her goals College?
Moving for job opportunities? I do worry that she's perhaps jeopardizing her current living situation due to point 2. I personally see nothing wrong with pre-marital sex, and even encourage it, but I'm not her parents. She needs to tread lightly, and perhaps investigate the possibility of moving out before she's forced out.
Parents are a lot less likely to find out what a child's sex life is like when the child doesn't live at home. Better to be out in the open about it than be keeping this sort of thing a secret that may later backfire or be grounds for dismissal. Again, the age difference isn't a big deal, but the circumstances surrounding the relationship may be. Is he married or ever been? The age difference should not really raise a concern, I figure once someone is past say around 23 or 24 and up until 45 ish the only thing age really is is a number, and perhaps you might be slightly better at trivia if you are on the upper end of that range since you have lived a little longer and might be more familiar with older pop things, but other than that it appears you are wanting to make sure his true intentions is to be with your sister and there isn't something you are missing, so I would work with the above questions and go from there.
Most people will say if she's happy don't worry about it, and well this can be true, girls at a frat house who are hopped up on xtacy about to be date raped are happy as well, its only after the high has worn off and the realization about what has occurred sets in are they not happy.
That is, she is happy, which is why she's told you about this to share her joy. Also, are you sure this is not some sort of act of rebellion on her part, and by cluing you in that can be effectuated by you cluing in your parents, she still lives at home and as you note is actively aware it could be cause for disruption of her living situation, but it's possible your parents will still weigh high cost of living and let her stay, just be disgruntled.
They're adults, nobody is forcing either of them, and it sounds like she's being treated well. He may very well treat her better than the immature guys her age will.
Yes, the "they work together" thing and the "they keep it secret" thing are concerning, as is to a lesser extent, for me the "somewhat different ages and stages" thing, but in the secular world, people generally have lots of relationships and most of them don't work out. Finally, a very distant last, verging on something that is only going to be a problem because your parents will look for problems that don't exist 3 the age difference. Everything you say about your sister and her partner makes me think the age difference is something they are going to handle well.
If it helps you to get past the age difference, remember this guy was in his twenties a few months ago. I have been involved with someone eight years younger than me, and our relationship is both stable and long term.
Honestly, I'd be more worried about the possible repercussions of dipping the pen in company ink than anything else given the facts you've presented. But it sounds like they're aware of those risks, too. He was nine years older, and they are still happily married, 35 years later.
They came from a similar conservative background to yours. Does your sister's boyfriend understand or identify at all with your sister's background? Is marriage sometime in the next few years a possibility, or no? Does he have a sexual background way different from hers?
The age difference in itself is not a problem. Problems arise only if they have different expectations or assumptions about how their relationship will work out. Things like money, in-laws, religion, kids are more important than age as she considers possible relationship roadblocks.
It sounds like this guy is great, so I'd say she should continue dating him while keeping her eyes open and figuring the rest of this stuff out. I'm sure she still has some growing up to do; all year-olds do, even the mature ones. So why would it serve the purpose of helping her grow up by convincing her to remove herself from a situation that We learn by doing; we grow by experiencing.
If things "go wrong" and relationship ends, then she'll learn and grow from that. Not having your first relationship work out is not the worst thing that can happen to someone; sometimes, it can be the best.
What you can imagine is right for you is not what is right for everyone else. This is a good approach. This happened, they're in love and he's treating her well by all accounts. She just needs to make sure she's treating him well. The age difference is is something that will bother other people, but if it doesn't bother them, then that's fine. In the end, it's their relationship and they, not the world or even you, have to be happy with it.
I say this only because my extended family has a healthy serving of observant Mormons, and there is a cultural pressure to marry strong view of sex outside of marriage as extremely sinful, leading to many people marrying in their early 20's.
You may be unwittingly seeing that a guy who is single at 30 as a bit of a red flag-- because it's a bit unusual for Mormon guys to make it to 30 still single-- so you might be unconsciously wondering if there is an issue that makes him not great relationship material. Dating someone you work with is always fraught with issues, as others have said. And no matter how discreet they think they are being, people may still guess, because some people have a sixth sense about that kind of thing, and other people are not as good at hiding things as they think they are.
My husband is 6 years older than me, and we met when I was I'm glad I found him, but I'm also glad I had the experience of dating casually when I was younger. Everyone's got a lot of growing up to do. You live and learn and live and learn. Lots of female friends of mine in college dated guys in their 30s and survived.
The only warning she should have is that people in their 30s often want to settle down. Make sure she's thinking consciously about what she wants to accomplish in the next 5 years or so graduate school? Sure, dating coworkers can cause problems, but in the long run it's no big deal. As for parents who may kick her out of the house, this is a separate issue. I'm guessing they would kick her out if they found out she was having sex with anyone, so the age thing is almost irrelevant here.
So, that being said I guess the only thing to base the relationship on is